will stand by Judge Douglas
in that to the bitter end. And now, Judge Douglas
, come and stand by me, and truthfully show how they acted, understanding it better than me do. All I ask of you, Judge Douglas
, is to stick to the proposition that the men of the Revolution understood this subject better than we do now, and with that better understanding they acted better than you are trying to act now.
I wish to say something now in regard to the Dred Scott
decision, as dealt with by Judge Douglas
In that “memorable debate” between Judge Douglas
and myself, last year, the Judge
thought fit to commence a process of catechising me, and at Freeport
I answered his questions, and propounded some to him. Among others propounded to him was one that I have here now. The substance, as I remember it, is, “Can the people of a United States
Territory, under the Dred Scott
decision, in any lawful way, against the wish of any citizen of the United States
, exclude slavery from its limits, prior to the formation of a State Constitution?”
He answered that they could lawfully exclude slavery from the United States
Territories, notwithstanding the Dred Scott
There was something about that answer that has probably been a trouble to the Judge
The Dred Scott
, decision expressly gives every citizen of the United States
a right to carry his slaves into the United States
And now there was some inconsistency in saying that the decision was right, and saying, too, that the people of the Territory
could lawfully drive slavery out again.
When all the trash, the words, the collateral matter, was cleared away from it-all the chaff was fanned out of it, it was a bare absurdity--no less than that a thing may be lawfully driven away from where it has a lawful right to be
. Clear it of all the verbiage, and that is the naked truth of his proposition — that a thing may be lawfully driven from the place where it has a lawful right to stay.
Well, it was because the Judge
couldnt help seeing this, that he has had so much trouble with it; and what I want to ask your especial attention to, just now, is to remind you, if you have not noticed the fact, that the Judge
does not any longer say that the people can exclude slavery.
He does not say so in the copy-right essay ; he did not say so in the speech that he made here; and, so far as I know, since his re-election to the Senate, he has never said, as he did at Freeport
, that the people of the Territories
can exclude slavery.
He desires that you, who wish the Territories
to remain free, should believe that he stands by that position, but he does not say it himself.
He escapes to some extent the absurd position I have stated by changing his language entirely.
What he says now is something different in language, and we will consider whether it is not different in sense too. It is now that the Dred Scott
decision, or rather the Constitution
under that decision, does not carry slavery into the Territories
beyond the power of the people of the Territories to control it as other property
. He does not say the people can drive it out, but, they can control it as other property.
The language is different ; we should consider whether the sense is different.
Driving a horse out of this lot is too plain a proposition to be mistaken about ; it is putting him on the other side of the fence.
Or it might be a sort of exclusion of him from the lot if you were to kill him and let the worms devour him ; but neither of these things is the same as “controlling him as other property.”
That would be to feed him, to pamper him, to ride him, to use and abuse him, to make the most money out of him “as other property ;” but please you, what do the men who are in favor of slavery want more than this?
What do they really want, other than that slavery, being in the Territories
, shall be controlled as other property?
If they want any thing else, I do not comprehend it. I ask your attention to this, first, for the purpose of pointing out the change of ground the Judge
has made ; and, in the second place, the importance of the change — that that change is not such as to give you gentlemen who want his popular sovereignty the power to exclude the institution or drive it out at all. I know the Judge
sometimes squints at the argument that in controlling it as other property by unfriendly legislation they may control it to death, as you might in the case of a horse, perhaps, feed him so lightly and ride him so much that he would die. But when you come to legislative control, there is something